How to prepare and use the SIAC — Information for athletes

General information

The SPORTident ActiveCard (SIAC) is a combined active/passive transponder card. It works in the classical SPORTident direct punching mode, as well as for contactless punching, when the SPORTident AIR+ system configuration is used.

To work in AIR+ mode, the SIAC must be activated (switched on). The SIAC indicates that it works in AIR+ mode by a slowly flashing green LED in the cap.

In direct and contactless punching mode the SIAC indicates the successful punching with an optical (flashing red LED in the cap) and acoustical feedback signal (not in blink only feedback mode).

SIAC’s with a flashing red LED indicating a successful punch

SIAC contains a battery and will always work in direct punching mode even if the battery is empty. Direct punching provides a fall back option to register at controls. SIAC is energy-efficient and the card will work for several years before a battery change.

SIAC and the AIR+ configuration meet the latest IOF specification for contactless punching in orienteering. The IOF specification gives different working distances for the disciplines of the sport but there is no difference in the user experience offered by AIR+.


There is no recommended best practice to attach and carry a SIAC. However, it is important that the athlete should be able to observe the SIAC’s feedback signals. For foot orienteering, the SIAC is generally carried as a finger stick. For orienteers who know the classic punch system, there is no need to change the common way of carrying the card.

Mounting of a SIAC on the finger

The AIR+ mode can be compromised by disturbances caused by third party equipment. The active antenna of some GPS watches can significantly reduce the SIAC’s sensitivity. As a rule, a GPS watch and SIAC shall not be carried on the same arm.


SIAC AIR+ contactless timing system

  • Contactless punching

  • No stopping at control

  • Parallel punching possible at any time

  • Avoid queuing at the control

  • Direct punching is always possible as a backup

SIAC all horizontal

1. Check SIAC battery in the arena

  • Punch station “SIAC Battery Test”

  • The battery is too low when the station shows “WARN” and emit a higher frequency warning signal or shows “FAIL” and there is no feedback signal. Use a different SIAC for the competition.

SIAC BatteryTest

2. Check-in at the start prestart procedure SIAC


3. Contactless punching during the race

  • Bring your SIAC close to the control station to punch. The SIAC beeps and blinks.

4. Finish and switch off

  • The SIAC AIR+ mode switches off when you cross the finish line or the finish station. Do not pass the finish line before you have finished your course.

siac contactless punching

Basic setup

SIAC can be personalized according to user’s requirements. A record of athlete’s personal data can be stored in SIAC’s memory. In addition, SIAC’s feedback signals can be configured by using Config+.

In general, it is recommended to use a long feedback cycle for applications in Ski and MTB Orienteering and a short feedback cycle for Foot and Trail Orienteering. SIAC is delivered with a balanced setting of the feedback signals to meet best the requirements of typical orienteering events.

Battery exchange

The SIAC contains a battery. The battery has a finite lifetime. Therefore, the battery needs to be sent in for battery exchange every once in a while to continue using the SIAC. The SIAC battery exchange is carried out by SPORTident and a number of service points operated by close partners of SPORTident.

It is recommended to replace SIAC batteries three years after the SIAC production date or the last battery exchange date.

The next battery exchange can be determined as follows:

  • The recommended battery exchange date is printed on the underside of the SIAC.

  • The form on the SPORTident Homepage shows the recommended battery exchange date by using the card number.

  • Config+ shows the battery date after a readout. This date plus three years is the recommended battery exchange date.

The SIAC Battery Test station and Config+ evaluate the SIAC battery voltage. If the SIAC Battery Test station or Config+ indicate a warning or failure for the SIAC battery voltage then the SIAC battery should be replaced.